Tuesday, April 01, 2008

MidSouthCon Gaming Report

I am finally back in town (and at work *ugh*) from MidSouthCon (www.midsouthcon.org), a gaming convention in Memphis, TN. I actually arrived Sunday and had Monday off to recuperate from the drive and the lack of sleep, but unfortunately, my lawn was calling to me for much needed attention so I ended up working anyway, just not for pay. Hmmmmm... maybe next year I can try a "Tom Sawyer" routine on Josh (Wheeee! Look how much fun it is to mow!) and get my lawn mowed while at MidSouthCon; something I'll have to ponder.

Anyway, I arrived at MidSouthCon on Friday around 1:00 PM. After checking in at Operations (one of the privileges of being a GM volunteer), I wandered a bit before the first game slot where I tried to play a game of Witch Hunter: The Invisible World (swashbuckling adventure and colonial-era horror). Unfortunately, my hope of burning witches was dashed; there was apparently no pre-con interest so the GM didn't show for the afternoon game. (This was not very considerate in my opinion, but then again, as far as I know, I was the only interested player at that time slot so it would have been a bust anyway - although I could have actually discussed the game and probably looked through the book.)

Having some free time, I took another look at the schedule and decided I'd try a game of RunePunk: Steam & Shadow. RunePunk is a Savage Worlds setting (dark steampunk fantasy) produced by a local (Memphis) gaming company, Reality Blurs (www.realityblurs.com). I had actually played RunePunk before which is why it was not my first pick for the session, but it is a fun game and I definitely think highly of the Savage Worlds system. Additionally, the game was ran by the President of Reality Blurs, Sean Preston, whom I met several years ago at MidSouthCon when I first heard of this new game called RunePunk on which he was working. I just think it is cool that his company seems to be doing well (well enough to be producing another setting soon); after all, don't all gamers wish they owned their own game company?

After the RunePunk game, I had a little time before my own game, HorrorClix: Aliens Vs. Cthulhu, so I checked out the Dealer's Room... and managed to find a copy of the Warhammer 40000: Dark Heresy RPG!!! The only copy for sale at the con! Go me! (As you can probably tell by now, I've been looking for a copy, but it is out-of-print until this summer at the earliest.)

Friday evening was time for some HorrorClix action. I was actually pleasantly surprised at the response. From my experience, most miniature gamers think ____Clix are a little too simple, but I was actually able to play 2 games with 4 different players. In both games, the aliens won, but it was a close call. I also had my ego rubbed by the number of people who wanted to take pictures of my Cthulhu temple... ah, to be respected and loved. Now if I could only find that in Huntsville...

That pretty much sums up my Friday so let's move on to Saturday, which started in a rather disappointing manner. 9:00 AM was the time for my Metamorphosis Alpha game (old school, post-apocalyptic, science-fantasy), but I had no players. I'm not sure if it was the setting, the system (Metamorphosis Alpha is an OLD game), or the time (morning is not the best time for gamers), but my hope (since I like the game) is that it was the time, so maybe I'll try it again another year. However, it turned out that this was actually a blessing in disguise. Since I now had free-time, but most of the other games had already started, I began to wander about aimlessly in the hopes of finding something. I bumped into Sean again from Reality Blurs and tried a miniature game of his new setting; I can't remember the name but it is essentially feudal Japan-based with magic - think samurai, ninja wizards, and bamboo war vehicles. After an enjoyable quick game, I turned around and played a miniature game of Savage Worlds: Deadlands Reloaded ran by the CREATOR, Shane Hensley! THAT was an absolute *BLAST* and the best game I played at the con! Plus, I now have bragging rights that I played in a game ran by Shane.

At this point, 2:00 PM had come around so it was time for a game of Horror Rules: The Simply Horrible Role-Playing Game (www.crucifictiongames.com). I had never played Horror Rules before so this was a new experience. It is a fun, fast paced, easy-to-learn horror comedy role-playing game... essentially, your character is a star in a 'B'-rated horror movie.

After successfully escaping from a museum full of animated figures, I thought I'd better get some food in me before my own game of Paranoia (a light-hearted game of backstabbing, treachery and guile) so I headed out for some quick fast-food. Returning to the con, I watched the end of the current session's Paranoia game in order to start the mood for running my own. Once time for my Paranoia game hit, I had a full table of 7 players... and then the madness of Alpha Complex began. I think everybody had fun although there weren't as many clone deaths as usual (but that may be because the Troubleshooters were not issued lasers). At the end of the game, I handed out prizes supplied by Mongoose Publishing (www.mongoosepublishing.com), and I think there was at least one new convert to the game.

I was pretty tired by this point so once I called my girlfriend and said good-night, it was time for bed. (2:00 AM is late enough for anybody.) The games really start dying off by Sunday, so I took my time getting up and packing. I made it by the Dealer's Room one last time and picked up a copy of Infernal Contraption, a card game where goblin mechanics race to assemble nigh-uncontrollable magical machines. After saying my good-byes to a few people I know that I only see once a year, I hit the long road home... exhausted but content.


Nefus said...

Wowzers! I hate that I missed it because that sounded fun!

Josh said...

Thou shalt not trick me into mowing thy yard.

Maybe I'll be able to go next year...

Aahz said...

But Josh, will you have all your yardwork done in time??? :-D

Aahz said...


I always have a good time (been going for several years) and I suspect others do as well since over the past couple of years, the con has had over 1000 attendees, but of course, your experience may differ. I have noticed (and heard comments) that there are not that many good ol' D&D games (not run as part of a Living Campaign), but that may change next year. Never can tell what GMs may run.

The website (http://www.midsouthcon.org) has a fairly active forum section which can give you others' impressions about the con and is a good place to ask questions.